Curate's egg in Antarctica: Seabourn Quest Cruise Review by nsdeut

Seabourn Quest 3
Member Since 2007
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Curate's egg in Antarctica

Sail Date: November 2013
Destination: South America
Embarkation: Buenos Aires
Shipboard package (food, cabin, service, staff, entertainment, etc) up to usual Seabourn standard - with two exceptions;

- strike in Buenos Aires meant ship was not able to re-provision and many items were in short supply or simply unavailable

- Quest is designed for warm weather cruising and when outside space is not available, some facilities, such as the Colonnade, are unpleasantly over-crowded.

Worth adding that Quest rode well in heavy seas in Drake Passage.

However whatever the description, this was not, nor could it ever be, an expedition cruise. At 450 passengers (some people onboard were sold the cruise on the basis of maximum 300) Quest cannot;

- logistically manage more than one landing per day. It takes approximately 6 house for Quest to complete a landing cycle - expedition ships with less than 200 passengers aboard make up to three per day sometimes starting at 5am

- use the majority of the landing sites due to the More number of passengers onboard - which is further restricted by the vessel's poor ice rating

- respond flexibly to the inevitable changeable weather because alternative sites are limited by the above.

The dead hand of corporate management (some of whom were said to be onboard but not at all in evidence) appears to be in conflict with the expedition team who would like to have delivered more. Of a twenty-one day cruise, only two days had Antarctic landings (one other a short zodiac trip), six days (or part) in port and the remaining thirteen days at sea.

Which brings me to the nub of the question - if you want to do a 'fly by' to Antarctica to see and photograph icebergs, some wild life, etc you can do so in nearly as much comfort at a much lower cost. Seabourn charges mightily for the privilege of expedition landings but does not and cannot deliver. This is not a soft expedition, it is a non-expedition and should be priced and marketed accordingly. Less

Published 01/06/14
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